Monday, December 5, 2016

World cities seek US$375b to fight climate change

The world's big cities will need US$375 billion of investment to curb climate change, a major gathering of mayors heard Thursday (Dec 1).

Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes (C) gives a tree to Paris' Mayor Anne Hidalgo (L) as a symbol of the fight against climate change during the C40 Mayor Summit in Mexico City on Dec 1, 2016. (AFP Photo/Hector Guerrero)
"It is a lot, but there is no other option. Together we will seek that money," said the new president of the C40 network of big cities, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
If that amount is made available "humanity will have a chance of surviving", she told a gathering of C40 mayors in Mexico.
The mayors were gathered to plot their strategy in the face of climate skepticism from US President-elect Donald Trump. They said they planned to make commitments to reduce harmful emissions by promoting cycling in cities and renewable energy, among other measures.
As leaders of busy, polluted cities home to millions of people, they want countries to push on with adopting the so-called Paris Agreement to limit harmful emissions.
Trump has cast doubt on the accord, which aims to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The Republican billionaire has in the past vowed to tear up international climate agreements, though he said in an interview last week that he has an "open mind" about supporting them.
He had previously said global warming was a "hoax" invented by the Chinese and not scientifically proven.
The C40 group's 85 cities include London, New York, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Seoul.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti told the gathering that 38 US cities had sent a letter to Trump to tell him they would push ahead with their efforts against climate change.
C40 executive director Mark Watts said in an analysis unveiled Thursday that the world's big cities must collectively cut their carbon footprint by nearly half within a decade if the 196-nation Paris Agreement is to be met.

With only 1°C of warming so far, the world has already seen an upsurge in extreme weather, including droughts, superstorms, heat waves and coastal flooding boosted by rising seas. - AFP


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